Calcium & my diet

Hello!

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been abusing my cronometer quite a bit to figure out what I’m getting and what I’m lacking in my diet. One of biggest concerns has been the lack of calcium, I usually get 350mg -600mg a day (RDA is 1000mg) without supplementation. I’ve done a bit of concern-based research on information collected and presented by Dr. Michael Greger MD (NutritionFacts.org), Jack Norris RD (VeganHealth.org) and quite a few non-vegan websites, that getting 600mg is fine to maintaining good bone-health.

So my general idea was to add soymilk to my diet (if there were cheaper options than 1,6€/L I would probably consume more or cheaper tofu) and every other day take a calcium (500mg) + D supplement just as a booster option. The first day I tried this method, I woke up to a terrible muscle cramp in my calf. Now I’m not 100% sure if it was that or just me walking around unusually much, but it’s very likely caused by the calcium.

So I’m trying to figure out what to do to lessen the likelihood of me getting muscle cramps. Massaging my calves with magnesium oil, maybe?

Anyways there are also two other things i wanted to also mention on this post:

  1. I’ll be doing an ACTUAL REAL budgeting post coming soon. I’ll be talking about steps you can take to be better at food budgeting and surviving on a very low budget, but the post is going to be mostly aimed at people without children (because budgeting with a family is different).
  2. I will not post a food haul this week because of personal reasons, sorry.

Later!

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Fun food-week + food haul

The days I’m likely to go grocery shopping are Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

-me last week

Hello!

Lol, today is Saturday.

This week has been full of free food. First, on Tuesday my colleague celebrated his birthday at work and offered a lot fresh berries so naturally I had some. On Wednesday my mother came by and bought me some soymilk and tomatoes. On Thursday I went out to eat with my friend who offered to pay for everything ( he offered before we went out) and we had some Japanese food.

On with the haul.

IMG_20170610_205739425

What I got:

Soymilk (1L) 1.69 €
Spaghetti (400g) 0.29€
Alpro GO ON (150g) 0.87€
Green peas (can) 0.75€
Kidney beans (can) 0.75€
Chickpeas (can) 0.76€
Sunflower seeds (50g) 0.29€
Avocado (~0.15kg) 0.35€
Cucumber (~0.345kg) 0.41€
Banana (~0.7kg) 0.85€
Carrot (~1.2kg) 0.47€
Tomato (~0.3kg) 0.25€
Curry Powder (25g) 0.65€
TVP (200g) 1.15€

Total: 9.53 €

Restock: TVP, Curry powder.
Things I wanted to buy but couldn’t find: Rice galettes, celery.
Things I decided not to buy: Frozen broccoli.
Things I didn’t need to buy: Alpro dessert, sunflower seeds. (but Ohh, those went to the right place)

That avocado is probably the least ripest thing I have ever experienced. It will probably have to wait on my counter for like a week.

I’m counting a lot on soymilk to satisfy my calcium needs because looking at my cronometer (idk why my spellchecker keeps correcting it) My calcium intake is shit without supplementation, and supplements for calcium need to be taken at the right time (and my multi doesn’t have calcium in it). 30% is a failing score on a test and is a failing score in the test of my life.

I’m still doing that “lower carb” thing for at least another week, and it has been a bit bland and boring. I can make dips but there are more interesting things to dip than carrots and celery.

My fridge is surprisingly stocked after this trip because I didn’t eat some of my produce form last week, pretty neat.

Later!

Fighting with Chronometer and E-stores

Hello!

A small update.

#Diet
Last few days I have realized that due to using Chronometer, I am unable to live in ignorant bliss. Because I’m trying to live on a pretty significant caloric deficit, I’ve made it my duty to get my macro- and micronutrients as ideal as possible. It’s a real struggle to do on a budget, I mostly just eat oats, lentils (which are, in my honest opinion, absolutely delicious) and chickpeas. I tried to make some oatmeal/rice flour pancakes a few days ago and managed to get 800 calories from my breakfast alone, which is kind of crazy (and not a significant amount of protein in those pancakes, mind you). I currently have some protein powder and TVP left and it seems to be the most budget friendly easy-to-add-protein solution, rather than buying vegan cutlets, “steaks”, “nuggets” or even tofu.

Speaking of tofu…
#Budget
I have a favourite store… Let’s call it “Store-A”, that also has an internet store. I love it, because I have figured out that Store-A not only has the most vegan options, but the cheapest produce and non-brand-name food. Now one of the functions of the e-store is to be able to make a grocery list for your next trip and I’ve been kind of obsessed with it. I’ve made a pretty impressive grocery list but I KNOW that there are some cheaper options in-store that are not on their website (like those ridiculously cheap chickpeas I got last week) and I’m dying figure out if I have enough money for an avocado 😂 (You’ll see on friday if I have managed to get one but my budget estimate is around 10€).

Low-carb food really is less satisfying even if I eat a good amount of fiber and protein and dress it with a bit of umami, but I’ll hold on for now. *whine*

Later!

 

This is not my first time…

Hello!

Before I start blabbering about what I bough today, I have to mention that this is not the first time I’ve been on a tight budget. I’ve actually done the “Live Below The Line” challenge a few times, always with good results and I have the privilege to be able to spend time researching what I need to buy in order to not… die basically. I also know my cravings so I added some stuff I don’t “really need” as a fallback just in case.

The days I’m likely to go grocery shopping are Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays but I’m putting most emphasis on Fridays and the least on Sundays because I just really don’t like “the weekend grocery shoppers”. I’m mostly planning to do my grocery shopping for the whole week in the chosen day but I might need to buy something extra once in a while. To this point I’ve mostly grocery shopped 2 times per week.

I’m going by the 30-55 € per month (30 days) budget, that gives me a weekly budget of 7-12.8 euros (the lower the better of course).

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What I got:
Brown Beans (can) 0.89€
2x Chickpeas (can) 0.48€ (per)
Dark Chocolate (100g) 0.69€
Oatmeal (500g) 0.31€
Flax seeds (200g) 0.60€
Apricot marmalade (300g) 0.99€
Cabbage (~1kg) 0.41€
Banana (~0.7kg) 0.82€
Carrot (~0.7kg) 0.25€
Apple [Red prince] (~1,3kg) 1.41€
Onion (~0.5kg) 0.13€

Total: 7,46€

Things I restocked that I didn’t NEED to restock: Flax seeds (I have Chia seeds at home right now) Oats (also probably will not run out of them this week).

Things I didn’t need to buy: Dark chocolate, Apricot marmalade (I bought them because of possible cravings).

Now a bit of an explanation to why I bought what I bought. The apples and bananas are meant to be eaten half-a-fruit per day so I bought 4 for 7 days. Those bananas look so unripe because apparently the whole of my country decided to buy all of the bananas the store I went to had, except about 8 super unripe ones.

10 Carrots go by 1 per day + a bit extra (but considering how cheap they were I could totally go 2 or 3 per day).

Now why the fuck a head of cabbage? I’ll tell you why, it’s because cabbage is probably the cheapest source of vitamin C. That one Red Prince apple has about 20% of USDA recommended vitamin C requirements. That cabbage? without the core has about 600%. It’s very easy to under-do your vitamin C requirements when you are not consuming a lot of raw veg and fruit, especially when most citrus fruits are out of your budget. And it’s kind of awkward to deal with that when you’re on a vegan diet.

Where are the carbs? Well I did say I am going fairly low-carb until about the end of June. I do have some pasta and various other grains (millet, buckwheat, barley, white rice) in my cupboards if I need some. The cheapest (edible) pasta I can get my hands on is 0.72 € per kg. 1 kg is about 10-15 servings of pasta, the cheapest rice I can get my hands on is 1.14 € per kg, so I think I could fit those in my budget just fine.

What I want to buy next time I go shopping? Instead of sweet stuff I’d love to get some soy milk instead, but even the cheapest ones are like 1,7 – 2€ per liter so I’m a bit conflicted by that. Vegan margarine is also fairly expensive (but under 2€) and I’m slowly running out. Still not sure if I’m willing to pay money for trans-fats.

What have I been eating? Some coffee, some water with lime juice, oatmeal with TVP, soy milk and peanut butter for brunch and had some chocolate, half an apple and sweet tea for a snack (don’t judge me, I was walking for 3 hours). I’m soaking half a cup of lentils for dinner with no idea what I’m going to do with it. I need to use a bag of spinach today otherwise it will go bad.

Decisions-decisions.

Anyways, see you at the latest in a week!

Vegan Below The Budget blog

Hello! (or something)

This is going to be a weird food-blog because I’m going to combine four ideas into it:

  1. Living below the line/budgeting
  2. Getting enough micro/macro-nutrients
  3. Dieting and weight loss
  4. Food pictures/ hauls/ food talk/ recipes

This blog really only is meant to serve me, but if someone else gets anything out of reading it, that would be pretty cool.

To explain the ideas:

  1. I was brought in a poor household but even tho don’t live below the line but I can’t afford to spend over 100 € per/mo on food. Considering my other expenses (I have a cat, live alone in a rental flat, I’m a semi-student) It’s the only place I can really tighten my budget. I’m going to try to keep my food budget at 30-55 € per/mo, which is around as much as people spend during the Live Below the Line 5-day challenge.  The advantage I have is planning and money for more than 5 days (I can have variety without the extra cost) and I have a lot of whole grains, lentils, spices, seeds and frozen vegetables at my disposal already.
  2. Because I mostly eat whole foods and make them myself, I will use Chronometer to keep my nutrient balance in check. It will probably not be perfect every day and I do take food supplements. Will I talk about it in this blog? Maybe yes, maybe not.
  3. To this point I’ve lost 15 kg (33 lbs) and I wish to continue losing weight for now. There is not a lot of lose anymore but it will also reflect in my food intake and budget because I will try to keep my “white carbs” low until at least the end of June.
  4. I’m probably going to add some food pictures and maybe a few recipes if I feel like it. Food talk might just be some general food-related banter, I’m not quite sure of it. Food hauls will maybe be shown as a picture but probably not due to safety issues.

So it’s going to mostly be budgeting.

Things I will exclude from my food budget:

  1. Food supplements like vitamins.
  2. Cat food (duh).
  3. Food emergencies (but then I have to justify it).

Things I will not include in my food budget:

  1. Any other income I might be getting.
  2. Food bought, brought or given to me.
  3. Freebies
  4. If I manage to forage/pick something from the countryside

So yeah, The first blog will probably be my first food purchase.

Later!